Microsoft and its partners have found an opening against Apple. That's rare these days.
The Windows 8 touch screen is the first real change that has come to Windows laptops in a long time.
I would put it right up there with the trackpad and, more recently, the MacBook Pro Retina display.
And it's made more significant by the fact that Apple has rejected the idea of a hybrid device via Tim Cook's refrigerator-toaster analogy. Which gives Apple's less-nimble Silicon Valley neighbor, Hewlett-Packard, a rare leg up.